899 Popularity and Recognition
Within the forums for the Shattered Star Ring, there were many players fervently discussing this incident.
After going through three versions, the players were already familiar with the erratic whereabouts of NPCs. Except for functional NPCs such as merchants, most of the characters would not stay within the same place all the time. A player could talk to a character and come back later to see that they had left for another place.
While this was a little inconvenient, the majority preferred such a characteristic, as it gave off a high sense of realism.
Following the expansion of the Black Star Army, the contact that Han Xiao had with the players had also begun to decrease. Ever since Version 2.0, he had adopted an image of a faction commander, and thus, the players were now used to not seeing a trace of their army commander and suddenly finding out news about him.
Discussing the deeds of the army commander became one of the pastimes for the players.
Many players were creating posts to discuss the fall of EsGod. At this stage, their level was too far from EsGod’s; he was a character toward the mid-late versions. As such, there was little interaction between the character and the player. The players only knew that he had a badass introduction, and he was from the evil faction, nothing else.
Only the players from the three star fields in the Central Galaxy knew more, especially those chaotic players who had taken part in looting and pillaging without taking up any storyline missions. They had gone to the desolate universe belt to join the Fallen Ark, but they did not have the qualification to see EsGod, only seeing the tip of the iceberg.
Because they were limited in their understanding of EsGod, the impact of EsGod falling was not as great, and its significance could not be compared to the battle at Planet Lighthouse. After all, Planet Lighthouse involved two Universal Civilizations, and to the players, that was end game content.
As for the fall of EsGod, the majority of players did not experience it and did not know the significance of this matter. They just thought that a big shot character had been caught.
The reply that Han Xiao saw was thus a routine spit on their army commander.
“The Army Commander ran off to do something again. He seems very free.”
“Sigh, I also want to go to the Central Galaxy to take a look. This abominable contractor, throwing us at the Shattered Star Ring to slave away while he goes to explore places leisurely.”
“Will this lead to a new storyline?”
“I doubt it. I think this was supplementary to the battle of Planet Lighthouse. EsGod took part and thus got caught. Since there’s nothing that us players can do, it’s most likely a backstory.”
“What a trash game. It’s all just CG.”
“Ah, there are no cutscenes to see. I’m going to die.”
“I’m EsGod. I got captured yesterday by the three Universal Civilizations and require 5,000 Enas to bail me. Someone, please bail me. When I’m out, I’ll bring you to explore the world. My account number is 480xxxxxx…”
“D*mmit, I’m part of the Fallen Ark faction. You guys captured my leader. All you Black Star Army dogs, eat sh*t!”
“Central Galaxy dog, scram!”
“The Constellation Corridor is shivering.”
Seeing all sort of cr*p on the forums, Han Xiao’s mouth curved into a smile.
Just as he was scrolling through all the posts of these moronic players, he discovered that one of them was actually pushed to the top, with the topic of ‘The meaning behind the Fall of EsGod’. The post’s popularity was flying up quickly.
As he clicked on the post, he saw the player’s ID, ‘Army Commander’s JJ’ [1. For those of you who need a reminder, JJ basically means the third leg.].
Han Xiao’s face began contorting.
Being perverts was certainly a strong point of the players. He was ashamed that he could not be like them.
Taking a deep breath to calm down, Han Xiao began to read the content.
“Brothers in the army, it seems as though many of you do not view the fall of EsGod with importance. I started off like this, but today, I met with a miraculous incident that changed my mind.
“It goes like this. I actually accepted a small employment mission some time ago and acted as a temporary escort for a long-distance travel spaceship, responsible for escorting them through the Giberian Star System. You guys know, all the Galactic Travelling Agencies now like to employ us Black Star Army people. As long as we are onboard, the pirates will not attack.
“Anyway, there was nothing to say about the journey. It was relaxing. But after we disembarked, a few of the other visitors from another star field stopped me, giving me some stuff and asking me to pass them to our Army Commander.
“As you can see from the pictures, they weren’t anything valuable, just some handmade stuff, and the flavor text read ‘This is a gift that is full of gratitude’. It triggered a corresponding mission.
“I had never interacted with them before, but they took the initiative to find me. These passengers said that their civilization had once been attacked by EsGod, and many people died. They were extremely grateful to Black Star for eradicating him, so they made the gifts to express their gratitude. They saw me as a member of the Black Star Army and wanted to ask me to deliver them to the commander.
“This is the rough idea. During the conversation, this group was enthusiastic, holding my hands as they laughed and cried, continuously murmuring thanks toward the Black Star Army. I’ve recorded the video here, and the emotions are very contagious…
“While this is just a small task, I feel that the meaning hidden within is not simple.
“Within the entire universe, how many people would have been harmed by EsGod, and how many wish to thank our commander! This number must be frightening! From this, you can tell that the true meaning behind the Fall of EsGod is not just a simple backstory but rather the dawn of justice shining upon many destroyed races and families!
“The Army Commander did a great noble deed, and honestly, seeing the gratitude on the NPC’s faces gave me a feeling of satisfaction.
“Brothers, I’ve said too much. Let me be the first to conclude: the Army Commander is awesome!
“PS: To reflect my admiration to the commander, I’ve decided to go to the cash shop to buy a ‘Name Change Card’. I’m going to add an additional ‘Big’ word to my name!”
Han Xiao scrolled down. This post had attracted a lot of players, and there were a lot of replies to it.
“It’s ok to add a ‘big’ word. But it seems that the OP is a troll.”
“I suspect that you are guiding us somewhere, but I have no proof.”
“I just saw the video. It’s full of emotions. I give 100 points.”
Some players ridiculed the poster, and some agreed with him.
“This made me remember the Mutation Disaster. In order to save his mother planet, the Army Commander actively went into the galaxy to gather reinforcements. He has always had a sense of responsibility.”
“That’s right. While Army Commander is a profiteer, he can still be relied on. I remember his speech. My goodness, so inspiring!”
When players chose a camp, other than just benefits, they also paid attention to the values it displayed. The players would often seek psychological satisfaction.
Han Xiao had always given the players a good impression, so many of them stayed in the Black Star Army not just because of the high welfare but also because they recognized Han Xiao as a leader.
Now that Black Star had received the gratitude of countless races, the players also felt honored being related to him. Many of them had a sense of honor and achievement.
After reading this point, Han Xiao scratched his head, and he found out that even he himself had underestimated the influence of this incident.
Just as the post had said, there were countless races that EsGod had trampled on, and now they saw him as their savior.
This popularity was different from the normal reputation. The ones before stopped at the level of acknowledging his strength and status, but everyone only knew him as a powerful person, having high influence. What the EsGod incident gave him were the hearts of the commoners and the recognition of the galactic residents.
One of these functions would attract more talents to take the initiative to join his faction. After all, some people would never be persuaded by benefits, and they were likely often talents.
A Universe Legendary Point was indeed not simple, and this EsGod could be said to be a treasure to Han Xiao. He was now in a good mood.
“EsGod has made countless enemies, and there are so many that want revenge on him. I wonder if those NPCs that would have attacked EsGod in the future versions will lean toward my faction.”
Han Xiao stroked his chin.
After travelling for a few days, the spaceship finally returned to the headquarters of the Black Star Army, entering through the dedicated personal dock.
The moment Han Xiao exited, he saw Hila waiting for him.
“Hey, you personally waited for me?” Han Xiao smiled as he waved.
“Humph.” Hila did not deny it, brushing aside the red stray hairs that covered her eyes, and slowly scanned Han Xiao. “Seems like EsGod didn’t give you much trouble. None of your limbs are missing.”
Han Xiao raised his brows before sniggering. “Were you worried about me?”
“This is my duty as the Black Star Guards captain.” Hila remained expressionless.
Han Xiao smiled, turning back to bid goodbye to Feidin and the others, before leaving. He gestured for Hila to follow.
“By the way, I’ve brought you a present.”
“Not interested.” While Hila said that, her body was more honest, immediately following behind Han Xiao.
The two of them came to a combat room, and Han Xiao locked the door before turning to Hila, who was hugging her waist.
“I got something interesting from EsGod. It seems like it can strengthen Esper Abilities. With your Beyond Grade A potential, this gift could make your road to Beyond Grade A even smoother, increasing your upper limit.”
Hila fiercely pursued strength, so she immediately felt emotional. “But such a good thing, won’t you give it to my teacher to use?”
“Oh, she probably can’t utilize it.” Han Xiao shook his head. “Furthermore, you’re my first choice. The first person I thought of was you.”
[Esper Ability Strengthening] from EsGod Character Summon Card only had a total of three uses. Han Xiao had already thought about it. Hila’s potential was exceedingly high, and coupled with the fact that she was his close aide, he would also obtain the benefits.
“Humph.” The corners of Hila’s mouth curled up in an arc of joy, and she put her hands behind. “Ok. What I need to do?”
“Don’t move. Let me handle it.”
Han Xiao activated the Character Summon Card [Esper Ability Strengthening]. The shadow of EsGod appeared behind him, and dazzling white energy particles floated around his palm.
He came up to Hila’s side and tapped on her forehead. The energy particles streamed into Hila’s seven orifices and circled around in her brain.
Hila groaned and shivered, immediately fainting. Han Xiao moved fast and caught her.
After checking her condition, he estimated that she would not wake up for a period of time.
“To actually faint, I thought it would be the same as the Esper Ability Potential Enhancing Fluid.”
Gazing at Hila who was leaning on him, Han Xiao shook his head and carried Hila off like a sack of potatoes on his shoulder.
After leaving the combat room, he approached Hila’s room, and hacking into the system, he unlocked her door and went in.
Hila’s room was as sparse as Han Xiao’s, and after he placed her on the bed and tucked her in, he caught sight of three photo frames on her desk.
He took a closer look. The three were respectively Hila and Aurora, her with Ames, and a picture with him. Other than that, there were no other decorations.
Standing silently for a while, Han Xiao stretched out his hand, taking the photo frame and lying it on the desk. He then switched off the lights and exited the room.
After a while, Hila finally opened her eyes and discovered that she was in her room.
“Did he bring me back?”
As her hazy brain cleared, Hila stood up and rubbed her eyes.
She revolved her Esper Ability, feeling the changes, and her eyes widened.
“This is as amazing as the Evolution Cube. The pathways are much smoother, and my upper limit has also increased… Oh, not sure how long I’ve slept. Better go find him.”
As Hila prepared to leave, she noticed an incongruity in her room. Gazing at the three photo frames, she noticed that one of them had fallen.
She realized that it was the photo of herself and Han Xiao upon closer look.
Hila’s eyes twitched, and the good mood she had gotten from strengthening herself dissipated in a flash.
 Original Poster